It’s worth pointing out that the N.L. Cy Young race was so close last year that a lot of different votes could have swung the outcome to either Wainwright or Carpenter, but I guess having a different opinion regarding the best pitcher in the National League last year than Strauss makes you worthy of his derision. One wonders if the fact that Strauss works in St. Louis doesn’t play into his estimation at all, but whatever.
What really gets me, again, however is how totally ignorant Strauss is. Not just about newly developed statistics, but about the arguments guys like me use. Notice, for example, the way Strauss uses the term “peripherals.” I’ve honestly never heard anyone refer to wins or other “traditional numbers” as peripherals; they’re generally rate stats. When people talk about peripheral numbers, they’re talking about things like K/9, BB/9, HR/9, HR/FB, etc. And far from using the term pejoratively, the sabermetrically inclined crowd generally considers these numbers pretty important.
Strauss just literally has no idea what he’s talking about, to the extent that he can’t even be bothered to familiarize himself with the thinking and positions of the people he’s scoffing at and passive-aggressively insulting. In just about any other profession, this would be the end of anyone taking him seriously, but in the world of baseball writers this sort of laziness and complacency will get you lauded by a not unsubstantial number of your peers. Whatever, in the end, this sort of thing is only hurting Strauss and others like him by laying bare the emptiness of their beliefs. But when they wonder why I’m generally not inclined to show them much deference or respect, this is a great illustration of the answer.
Update: I kid you not, originally I thought about having a paragraph in this post using the fact that a pitcher could toss a complete game, one hit, one run, no walk, double digit strikeout game yet still be credited with the “loss” if the team’s offense as unable to score any runs, but decided against it because it seemed like wasted effort in preaching to the choir. Then Felix Hernandez went and did almost that exact thing today, allowing only one run and two hits through 8 innings (the one run being a home run surrendered to Jose Bautista, his 50th of the season), but “lost” the game for his team as they were shutout by the Blue Jays.
If someone can watch that game and honestly think it makes any sense at all to hang the loss on the pitcher who gave up one run and two hits in 8 innings, well, I just don’t know what else to say about the issue at this point.